Skip to Content
Saved Flights

Your Saved Flights

No Saved Flights

Stuart Messham
Airlines and routes, Blog, Entertainment, Food and drink, Shopping,
With its vibrant culture, pulsating cities, superb transport and eclectic food, South Korea is fast becoming a go-to destination for western tourists in search of something a bit different. Here’s 5 reasons to make the “Land of the Morning Calm” your next holiday from Heathrow…

1. The rich history colliding with dazzling futuristic modernity

One minute you’re gazing in awe at pioneering new structures – like the Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid or the world’s fifth largest skyscraper that looms over the Han River – the next you’re wearing a tradition hanbok and sipping a calming hot beverage in one of the decades-old teahouses.

You can experience traditional Korean dance and musical performances in Seoul that have been practised over hundreds of years and then zoom on one of the epic high-speed trains to another pulsating city with just enough time to upload the spoils to your Insta account.

What am I getting at? There’s a wonderfully blend of the old and the new, the futuristic and the traditional in South Korea. It’s a compelling mix that very few countries can match and will appease enthusiastic historians and tech junkies in equal measure.


2. The seasonal variety and year-round festivals

Thanks to South Korea’s location in East Asia, the country experiences stark seasonal variations, such as fairytale pink and white blossoms in the spring, bountiful flower fields in the summer and wonderland winters full of snow – and there’s always a unique festival and delicious dish to match.

You can ice fish, build snowmen, ride snow sleds and play ice soccer during the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival in January; welcome the best of health and harvest in late Feb at the Jeju festival; discover whether messiness really does create happiness at the raucous Boryeong Mud Festival in July; and indulge in the much calmer but no-less-fun Jinju Lantern festival in October.

No matter when you visit South Korea, there’s always something historic and involving to enjoy.


3. The wonderfully varied, pleasingly healthy, totally distinct cuisine

Largely thanks to its clean flavours and incredibly healthy ingredients – most dishes maintain a healthy balance between carbs, protein and nutritious vegetables – Korean cuisine has taken off bigtime in the UK over the last decade and its popularity continues to soar.

Kimchi – made from salted and fermented veggies and rich in fibre and antioxidants – is the side of choice in these parts. It’s kept in jars for months to ruminate flavour and also last the course of a harsh winter. In fact, the presence of side dishes – or banchan as they are known – are key to eating out in Korea and often free with a meal, like bread at an English restaurant: Expect fresh salad, seaweed, fried zucchini, spinach, tofu dishes and, our favourite, sweet roasted black beans.

Elsewhere, the Koreans love meat dishes, stews, soups, noodle dishes and seafood. All of them are super-tasty and some wonderful fun too, such as the sundubu jjigae – or spicy soft soup – which is served in a piping hot stone pot with a raw egg which you must crack into it before eating.


4. The burgeoning K-pop scene and its modish acolytes

K-pop is not just a genre of music that Korean people enjoy, it’s become synonymous with the culture of the country, trickling through the very fabric of modern society.

It can be heard on most pedestrian streets, dominates the airwaves and its followers – a trendsetting, experimental bunch – can be seen wherever its chirpy acoustics emanate sporting voguish outfits and chic haircuts. In fact, wandering around the capital can sometimes feel like being in a particularly stylish, rather surreal animation.

It's definielty catching on though: every major fashion label in Europe now ptiches up at Seoul Fashion Week, poised and ready to incorporate the latest Korean trend into their clothing lines.

If you want to take home a piece of the action, visit the Dongdaemun, Gangnam or Myeongdong areas.  


5. The stunning coastline and thrilling mountain ranges

Did we forget to mention that, thanks to it being a peninsula, the country also has some of the most stunning beaches and fetching islands in the world?

Well, it most certainly does.

Jeju has some magnificent beaches, natural wonders and the highest peak in the country, the shield volcano Hallasan; Seoraksan is a beautiful national park and popular hiking area; Jeollado is another magical coastal location; and the eastern coasts has some of the most unrivalled sunsets on the planet.

It's fair to say infact, South Korea is one of the few countries on Earth that does the lot.

Book now and be the first of your friend group to sample its many, many charms.